Sew Crafy

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mash it up, Mash it up, throw it on a Model!!


This week your challenge for CDDC4 is to mash things up a bit. You will take two famous design houses and design a couture fashion that mixes the famous elements of both houses while not flat out copying either house's designs. Examples that you might use(but you are not limited to these designers) would be Valentino to Valentina (Versace), Givenchy to Galliano, (Vivienne) Westwood to (Jason) Wu, (Alexander) McQueen to (Stella) McCartney… The design houses should be on different ends of the fashion spectrum so that it is a true fashion mash-up! Mix 'em up and see what you get.

Wow, what an interesting challenge! I thought I'd provide you with a picture and a little information on each designer, BUT make NO suggestions. In this way you could learn about each one, anyway, even if you didn't use any of them. After all, you never can get enough fashion info now, can you??


 Both a reverent hush and an excited clamor simultaneously surround the Italian designer, Valentino. He enjoys the patronage of a long established clientéle of wealthy and aristocratic women, yet his clothes are never staid and always express a fresh, current style. His collections and his lifestyle embody the grandeur and serenity of eternal Rome, where he works from his salon near the Spanish Steps. In 2000 Valentino celebrated 40 years in business.  From his beginnings he has attracted clients who came to him for his finely crafted, colorful, and elegant designs.  In 1968 he created a sensation with his White Collection, featuring short dresses shown with lace stockings and simple flat shoes. The very same year Jacqueline Kennedy chose a lace-trimmed silk two-piece dress with a short pleated skirt, for her marriage to Aristotle Onassis. Yet red has since become Valentino's signature color, a rich shade of crimson with vibrant overtones of orange. Typical Valentino details include scalloped trims and hems, raglan sleeves, circular ruffles, complex plays of proportion, and extravagant pattern and texture mixes—like the combination of lace, velvet, and houndstooth in a single outfit. Valentino's devotees continue to flock to him today.


 She was born with a natural Italian flair for personal style. Her emerging creative talents were nurtured by her mother, Francesca, and her brother Gianni's extraodinary career influenced her as a young girl. Donatella's clothing design today with its sexy, feminine, powerful look is as much a reflection of her early personal style as of the fashion world in which she is a major presence. Because of the enormous success of her brother and his couture line and Donatella's role as his assistant and muse, she became well known and respected in the Italian fashion world; and because of her own talent, she has maintained that respect in more countries than just Italy.  Harper's Bazaar (1995) recognized that Donatella's demand for the most famous models as a part of the publicity surrounding each season's latest designs launched "the supermodel" cult, though it must be said that she was herself the most recognizable supermodel that Gianni engaged. Her notoriously high standards attract precisely the attention to Versace products that guarantees their marketability. She continues to cultivate the celebrity crowd; designing, for example, the extraordinary palm-leaf printed gown that Jennifer Lopez wore at a Grammy Awards ceremony. In recent years she has concentrated on the sexy natural shape of a woman's body. Her use of clinging chiffons that hug every curve, subtle designs that follow those curves like a whisper, and sparkles of sequins highlighting those curves have perfected her look as "maybe risqué, but not reckless." She has, indeed, matured into a major fashion leader who is upholding the high standards of elegance, sensuality, and opulence that were and remain the Versace trademark.


 The House of Givenchy was founded in 1952 by designer Hubert de Givenchy and is a member of Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture et du Pret-a-Porter. During his reign under the label bearing his name, he was known for his modern, ladylike styles, which earned him many loyal clients. The most famous patron of the brand was Audrey Hepburn in films such as Sabrina, for which Edith Head claimed the Academy Award, How to Steal a Million and Breakfast at Tiffany's. A rather sad event brought global attention to Givenchy dresses. When John F.Kennedy was assasinated, the world witnessed a mourning Kennedy family all dressed in Givenchy clothes.  Other famous patrons include the Guinness and Grimaldi families. After he left his own design house, he went on to work for other design houses shortly afterward. and continues to create both wonderful women's wear and men's wear collections.


After much talk about possible successors of Ferre, it was confirmed in October 1996, that John Galliano would take his place as chief designer for Dior. Galliano, known as an enfant terrible of the fashion business, was responsible for Givenchy for two seasons before switching to Dior. It was believed that Dior's parent-company LVMH wanted to rejuvenate Dior's appearence, hoping it could create an equally astonishing run on Dior products like Tom Ford created for Gucci. Indeed, Galliano's appraoch to fashion resembles Dior's intention when he started in 1947. In contrast to Chanel, for example, Dior established a romantic and very feminine look, which emphasised luxury rather than comfort. Galliano, as Dior's successor, created an equally feminine style, blending today's freedom of expression with the reminiscence of past opulence.


She became well known in the 1970s when, with Malcolm McLaren, the rock music entrepreneur, she opened a shop in London that became the focus of the punk rock movement. International recognition came in the early 1980s with her Pirate and New Romantics look. Vivienne Westwood, who once had a shop named SEX, has played a vital role in the emergence of Punk Rock in the 1970s and has gone on to become one of the most original and influential designers of our time. Her designs combine a fearless unconformity with a sense of tradition. She is renowned for her gentle parody of Establishment styles, her use of very British fabrics such as Harris tweed and tartan, and her re-use of historic garments such as the corset and crinoline. Yet, her approach has always been practical, driven by a curiosity about how things work, a process she describes as 'learning through action'. Born in 1941, you'd think she'd be slowing down, but there is no such evidence yet.


"I think in a time where trends last for about five minutes, and we move on so quickly on everything, not just fashion, the role of a designer is to create pieces that are truly designer pieces with a design signature that is seasonless, timeless. and well made… and in that sense they’re so different and cannot be mistaken for a knock off," words direct from this young, forward-thinking designer who is the current darling of the fashion world. Little mention is given to the diminutive designs he's done for Integrity, Madame Alexander, and others in the press nowadays, but he has said he will cotinue to dabble in this design work that was his beginning in fashion. He's designed for a President's wife and Neiman Marcus, and his cute-as-a-button Target ads are making him a household word. Here's hoping he's already accomplished his next goal of having Cate Blanchette wear one of his gowns by the time you are reading this.


McQueen's clothing was by no means ‘ready to wear’, his designs were like no other. They made up a display of his uninhibited imagination and creativity. Some of his designs were very sexual, using elements of S&M such as chainmail, bondage and corsets. But there is no denying, he completely changed the way a fashion show is presented. Fashion shows became another form of performance art. He incorporated choreography, art, video, lights and many other exciting aspects of performance art into his shows. These shows were energetic, and his audiences left them full of emotion. That is only one of the reasons that when he left us we were also full of emotion.


Although her famous father is Beatle Paul McCartney, Stella doesn't seem to need to stand on anyone's name but her own, having launched her own line immediately on leaving college. Her style of combining sharp tailoring with humour and sexy femininity were immediately apparent in that first collection. In 1997, after only two collections, she became the creative director of the house of Chloe in Paris. Chloe's commercial success has been stratospheric since her arrival. Stella McCartney was awarded the VH1 / Vogue Fashion and Music 2000 Designer of the Year award, and in 2001 she resigned from Chloe and launched her own fashion house under her name in partnership with Gucci Group.

 But you are not limited to these designers, so I would pair up a particular duo of my faves. I think this American woman designer and this French man are juxtaposed enough that pulling attributes of each one's collections could result in an awesome outfit. Below is some info on each, so you can see if you agree. But if you do not that is fine, after all this is about YOUR interpretation of this challenge, not mine.


ThIs former 'enfant terrible' of French fashion is one of the most significant designers working today. On one hand, Jean Paul Gaultier is hailed as the saviour of haute couture. On the other, he is one of the world's most famous living Frenchmen, partly due to a presenting job on the TV show Eurotrash. Born in 1952, he was beguiled by fashion from a young age, and would sketch showgirls from the Folies Bergere to impress his classmates. In the early '70s he trained under Pierre Cardin and Jean Patou, eventually launching his own ready-to-wear collection in 1976. He soon became known for iconoclastic designs such as the male skirt, corsetry worn as outerwear, and tattoo-printed body stockings. The classics of Parisian fashion are also central to his repertoire, particularly the trench coat. But it was his wardrobe for Madonna's Blonde Ambition tour of 1990 that made him world-famous, in particular for a certain salmon-pink corset with conical bra cups.


New York designer Betsey Johnson has built her long-standing career in fashion by following her own set of rules. Known for her celebration of the exuberant, the embellished, and the over the top, Betsey has been rocking the fashion industry with her unique and original designs since the 1960's. Her commitment to remain true to her one-of-a-kind vision has afforded Betsey continued success in an industry known for its fickleness. Her ability to change with the times while keeping her designs pure has not gone unnoticed. At the 1999 CFDA Awards, Betsey was presented The Timeless Talent Award created especially for her, which recognized her influence on fashion throughout her career. In late 2002, Betsey was honored with an induction into the Fashion Walk of Fame, honoring her contribution to American fashion. She has also received various Lifetime Achievement Awards as well as the Designer of the Year Award in 2006. Betsey Johnson's enthusiasm, creativity and boundless talent that have kept her at the forefront of fashion for the past 40 years will keep Betsey going for years to come.

Well, that is it for this week!  All  the designs for Challenge Two are now up, so just click here, to go on over and enjoy another interesting runway show!

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